City Desk

Informer Lost D.C. Contract Over Readers’ Race, Says Publisher

There's some new racial intrigue in the unlikeliest of places: the awarding of D.C. government advertising contracts.

The controversy centers around a contract to advertise unclaimed property that's been awarded to the Washington Times. Washington Informer publisher Denise Rolark Barnes claims that her paper was denied a chance at the contract by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer because her paper's coverage centers on Washington's black residents. Barnes has filed a protest against the contract award, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The conflict hinges on whether the Informer counts as a "newspaper of general circulation," which is what the city's initial contract solicitation called required. In her complaint,  Barnes quotes a city contracting official saying that the Informer's editorial focus of black Washingtonians means it isn't a "newspaper of general circulation."

Barnes counters in her complaint that the Informer can be read by any Washingtonian. The Informer has received city ad awards in the past, the Business Journal reports.

Neither Rolark Barnes nor the Office of the Chief Financial Officer were immediately available for a comment.

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Comments

  1. #1

    The CFO's justification for denying the Washington Informer is laughable and grounds for a lawsuit.

    The Washington Times editorial focuses on "conservative Washingtonians", which is a minute percentage of DC's population, and doesn't represent the "general population".

    Any hoot, how many people read the editorial section of any paper, including the Washington Post?

  2. #2

    Race is a factor in awarding of government contracts in DC? Heavens to Betsy!

  3. #3

    "Any hoot, how many people read the editorial section of any paper, including the Washington Post?"

    I do. Although this isn't the height of the Post's power in DC, like it or not, its editorials still hold sway.

  4. #4

    Wow!

    "Barnes quotes a city contracting official saying that the Informer's editorial focus of black Washingtonians means it isn't a "newspaper of general circulation."

    Soo agree with you strangefruit! The washtimes is like fauxnews.

    It's like an full assault on anything black in DC.

  5. "Bring That Ball, Meat!"
    #5

    Race as a qualifier in DC? Who wudda thunk it?

  6. #6

    “Why the Washington Informer should be granted the right to post the District’s Unclaimed Property Advertisement Supplement, ... in full or in part”

    The Washington Informer has a proven and strong track record and is the perfect solution f
    or winning the bid, to post the District’s Unclaimed Property Advertisement Supplement, ... in full or in part”

    Their outreach and influence exceeds their very respectable readership and city-wide circulation. In a word, The Washington Informer serves as a modern-day model for studying how print media has evolved.

    Washington Informer Newspaper, is a City-Wide publication, in general and in specific, … serves as a “dominant” means of communication of ALL races, including, black and other minorities cultures.

    Regrettably, Washington DC, … JUST AS IN THE PAST, STILL …is dominated by Washington Post and Washington Times Newspapers. The larger papers have more money to cover the news and quite naturally, cover more events.

    Problem is, ... mainstream media and Daily papers, still by and large, do not cover inner city success stories or positive events, and even more regretably to large degree either ignore or stereotype blacks and other minority cultures.

    Additionally, a downside result to social media, the general market media has been severely been hit by declining Ad dollars, ...quite naturally, black media has been hit even harder!

    The Washington Informer has remained remarkably relevant, resilient, and very meaningful to Washington DC inner communities, who obviously, "need to be reached and read this Supplement, in question".

    The Washington Informer Newspaper, has continued to reinvent itself to provide quality and relevant coverage during an era when readers want more information more quickly, ... and advertisers want a return on their investment more clearly defined.

    Realizing access to information and unbiased reporting was, AND still, is extremely difficult to obtain. Washington Informer Newspaper, was founded by Dr. Calvin Rolark, in 1964, in the midst of the modern-day civil rights movement.

    This Newspaper, remained relevant in this day as dramatic story of the modern-day civil rights movement moved into mainstream papers. .

    Just as always, this newspaper has always functioned as the conduit through which black news moved at a time when MAIN STREAM MEDIA, virtually ignored everything of real concern to blacks.

    Unfortunately, even in this present day, there still exists a major gap informing African Americans and other ethnic groups, access to information, for these partial listings of reasons:
    Washington Informer should be granted this contract, in full or in part, … if for no other reason, …awarding this contract to a minority newspaper, … is a stride in the right direction … and levels the playing field!

    # # #

    Submitted by; Keith Silver, 3-Time ANC Commissioner, Washington, DC and Graduate, ANTIOCH SCHOOL of LAW, Paralegal Class, 1978

  7. #7

    “Why the Washington Informer should be granted the right to post the District’s Unclaimed Property Advertisement Supplement, ... in full or in part”

    The Washington Informer has a proven and strong track record and is the perfect solution "FOR" winning the bid, to post the District’s Unclaimed Property Advertisement Supplement, ... in full or in part”

    Their outreach and influence exceeds their very respectable readership and city-wide circulation. In a word, The Washington Informer serves as a modern-day model for studying how print media has evolved.

    Washington Informer Newspaper, is a City-Wide publication, in general and in specific, … serves as a “dominant” means of communication of ALL races, including, black and other minorities cultures.

    Regrettably, Washington DC, … JUST AS IN THE PAST, STILL …is dominated by Washington Post and Washington Times Newspapers. The larger papers have more money to cover the news and quite naturally, cover more events.

    Problem is, ... mainstream media and Daily papers, still by and large, do not cover inner city success stories or positive events, and even more regretably to large degree either ignore or stereotype blacks and other minority cultures.

    Additionally, a downside result to social media, the general market media has been severely been hit by declining Ad dollars, ...quite naturally, black media has been hit even harder!

    The Washington Informer has remained remarkably relevant, resilient, and very meaningful to Washington DC inner communities, who obviously, "need to be reached and read this Supplement, in question".

    The Washington Informer Newspaper, has continued to reinvent itself to provide quality and relevant coverage during an era when readers want more information more quickly, ... and advertisers want a return on their investment more clearly defined.

    Realizing access to information and unbiased reporting was, AND still, is extremely difficult to obtain. Washington Informer Newspaper, was founded by Dr. Calvin Rolark, in 1964, in the midst of the modern-day civil rights movement.

    This Newspaper, remained relevant in this day as dramatic story of the modern-day civil rights movement moved into mainstream papers. .

    Just as always, this newspaper has always functioned as the conduit through which black news moved at a time when MAIN STREAM MEDIA, virtually ignored everything of real concern to blacks.

    Unfortunately, even in this present day, there still exists a major gap informing African Americans and other ethnic groups, access to information, for these partial listings of reasons:
    Washington Informer should be granted this contract, in full or in part, … if for no other reason, …awarding this contract to a minority newspaper, … is a stride in the right direction … and levels the playing field!

    # # #

    Submitted by; Keith Silver, 3-Time ANC Commissioner, Washington, DC and Graduate, ANTIOCH SCHOOL of LAW, Paralegal Class, 1978

  8. #8

    Why didn't City Paper get the contract? I have never heard of the Washington Informer.

  9. #9

    Lord knows if the Washington Afro-American paper would have applied. Then I would think the office would have been even more insulting. Gee-whiz, was there anyother newspapers denied such as Asia and Hispanics.

  10. #10

    Yes the award to the Washington Times is suspect.

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